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for the 

Division of 









MAR 1 2 1991 

Preface MOTftAMtf 

The Endowment offers assistance to schools and colleges seeking 
to improve the substance and coherence of humanities education 
at all levels. Our schools face the challenges of bringing greater 
depth and rigor to the study of the humanities and of providing 
teachers with better opportunities to enrich their understanding 
of the texts and materials they teach. Our colleges and universities 
face the challenges of strengthening curricula and of offering stu- 
dents a common core of learning that will enable them to lead 
thoughtful lives. 

While the division's grants are made through two programs, 
one for elementary and secondary education and one for higher 
education, the Endowment encourages cooperation across the lev- 
els of education. And while the overall structure of the two pro- 
grams remains the same, some grant categories or emphases are 
new or only recently introduced. For example, the Endowment 
has now begun to offer a special opportunity in foreign language 

The Program for Elementary 

and Secondary Education 

in the Humanities 



The NEH Teacher-Scholar Program, formerly known as the 
NEH/Readers Digest Program, is now a national competition 
that will make up to twenty-five awards annually. The pro- 
gram is summarized below, but prospective applicants should 
request the program's guidelines and application forms for 
complete information. 

Masterwork Study Grants, offered for the first time in 1988, 
provide a valuable opportunity for teachers and administra- 
tors to develop faculty study projects in their schools or for 
college faculty to begin working more closely with local 

Collaborative projects with institutions of higher education as 
well as summer institutes for school teachers and administra- 
tors are also supported. Additional exemplary projects for el- 
ementary teachers are particularly welcome, especially in the 
field of literature. At the high school level, projects that will 
help teachers provide greater coherence and depth to courses 
in Western and world civilization are encouraged. 



The Program for Higher 
Education in the Humanities 

The program assists institutions that are seeking to establish 
core curricula — programs in which students study, in an or- 
dered sequence, materials considered central to a liberal edu- 
cation. Faculty study projects and other projects aimed at 
strengthening the humanities components of existing core 
curricula are also welcomed. 

• The program seeks projects that are aimed at expanding and 
enriching the humanities content in the undergraduate prep- 
aration of the next generation of English, history, foreign 
language, and elementary school teachers. 

• Recognizing that many two-year colleges are clarifying their 
missions in ways that elevate the status of the humanities, the 
division encourages faculty study projects and curricular revi- 
sion projects in these institutions. 

• The program continues to support summer institutes for col- 
lege and university faculty on a wide range of topics. Because 
specialized graduate training seldom prepares new faculty to 
teach broad-based introductory or general education courses, 
the division welcomes proposals for institutes that help fac- 
ulty teach Western civilization or world literature courses. 

Special Opportunity in Foreign 
Language Education 

• The Endowment has begun to offer a special opportunity in 
foreign language education. To support and strengthen for- 
eign language instruction in the nation's schools and institu- 
tions of higher learning, the division is seeking proposals in 
three areas: (1) summer foreign language institutes for school 
teachers, (2) projects to redesign foreign language programs 
for undergraduates, and (3) special foreign language projects. 
Particularly encouraged are proposals in such less commonly 
taught languages as Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic. 

To encourage projects that incorporate the study of culture 
with the acquisition of linguistic proficiency, the division invites 
proposals that emphasize the use of original cultural materials and 
that extend to the study of history, politics, religion, and other as- 
pects of culture in addition to the study of language and litera- 

The Endowment continues to be receptive to other proposals 
that will address the many audiences and issues involved in the 
comprehensive teaching of the humanities. If you plan to submit 
an application or have questions about the division's programs, 
please call or write. The staff will be happy to provide assistance. 
The names and phone numbers of division staff members are 
listed on page 32. 

Table of Contents 



I. Elementary and Secondary Education in the 
Humanities 7 

National and Regional Projects 8 

Institutes for Teachers and Administrators 8 

Special Projects 10 

Projects in School Systems and Individual 

Schools 11 

Collaborative Projects 11 

Masterwork Study Grants 12 

Individual Study in the Humanities 13 

NEH Teacher-Scholar 

Program 13 

Summer Fellowships Program 14 

II. Higher Education in the Humanities 14 

National and Regional Projects 15 

Institutes for College and University Faculty .... 15 
Special Projects 16 

Projects in Individual Institutions 18 

Core Curricula 20 

Coherent Majors and Concentrations 21 

Foreign Language and Civilization 22 

Teacher Preparation 22 

Projects with Cultural Institutions 23 

Two-year Institutions 23 

III. Special Opportunity in Foreign Language Education 


Policies and Procedures 

IV. Definition of the Humanities 27 

V. Eligibility 27 

VI. Application Procedure 28 

VII. Review Process 28 

VIII. Evaluation Criteria 29 

IX. Special Initiative 30 

The Columbian Quincentenary 30 

X. Application Deadlines 31 

XI. Staff 32 

Equal Opportunity 34 


Through the Division of Education Programs, the National En- 
dowment for the Humanities fulfills its mandate to assist schools 
and colleges with projects that will improve humanities education. 
The Endowment's support is based on the following premises: 

1. Because the study of history, literature, philosophy, and 
other expressions of human thought and culture has the potential 
to enhance fundamental dimensions of human life, students in all 
programs and at every level of their formal education should have 
the opportunity to study important texts and issues in the human- 

2. A complete education includes both scope and depth, both 
content and skills. Students should gain sufficient breadth of 
knowledge to become liberally educated, but they should also have 
time for intensive study of important materials. Skills are best 
learned when based in content. Students learning to write and 
think could not do better than to write and think about texts and 
ideas that challenge the intellect and the imagination. 

3. Education should not consist of a series of fragmented and 
unrelated parts. Faculty and teachers in different disciplines and 
at different levels of education should work together to provide 
students with a coherent program of study, not just a set of 
courses. Students cannot be expected to achieve a synthesis that 
the faculty has not been able to achieve. 

4. Teachers need to know not only how to teach; they must 
also have a firm grasp of the content they teach. They cannot 
share with students more than they know themselves. Teachers 
should have opportunities for sustained and rigorous study of the 
subjects they teach. 

Although many types of proposals to improve humanities edu- 
cation may be eligible for funding, most of the projects supported 
by the division fall into three categories: 

• Projects that provide an opportunity for collegiate and pre- 
collegiate faculty to study major texts, topics, and issues in 
the humanities. 

• Projects that help schools or colleges revise or improve hu- 
manities programs, curricula, and courses. (These projects 
usually include faculty study as a central component.) 

• Projects that address issues of nationwide importance to one 
or more of the humanities disciplines. 

If a project aims primarily to improve humanities instruction at 
the precollegiate level, it should be submitted to the Program for 
Elementary and Secondary Education in the Humanities. A proj- 

ect for the improvement of postsecondary education should be 
submitted to the Program for Higher Education in the Humani- 
ties. Projects aiming to improve foreign language instruction at 
any level should be submitted in response to the Special Opportu- 
nity. In the case of projects that will address more than one audi- 
ence, the staff will help applicants determine which program is 

If you are interested in preparing an application, please call or 
write a division program officer and request a copy of the divi- 
sion's "Application Instructions and Forms." 



Elementary and Secondary 
Education in the Humanities 

The Program for Elementary and Secondary Education in the 
Humanities promotes a central role for the humanities in the 
school curriculum and in the professional development activities 
of educators. The program supports a variety of projects that in- 
volve the serious study of history, literature, foreign languages, 
and other humanities fields. Such study, the Endowment believes, 
should be the first priority for the professional development of 
humanities educators. The excitement and personal fulfillment 
that result from engagement with timeless issues — the core of the 
humanities — provide the most effective means for ensuring a vital 
humanities curriculum and for serving the program's ultimate 
beneficiaries, the nation's elementary and secondary school stu- 
dents. To achieve its purposes the program has identified the fol- 
lowing objectives: 

1. To advocate a strong humanities curriculum for all students 
at the precollegiate level; 

2. To strengthen humanities teaching by encouraging elemen- 
tary and secondary school teachers and administrators to engage 
in scholarly study of enduring texts and ideas in the humanities; 

3. To foster curricular change based on rigorous study of the 
disciplines and on sound scholarship in the humanities; and 

4. To support cooperative projects between institutions of 
higher education and elementary and secondary schools and to 
develop collegial relationships among college and university fac- 
ulty and elementary and secondary school educators. 

The program does not support projects that focus on critical 
thinking skills or writing skills separate from humanities content; 
projects that focus on pedagogical theory, education research, 
cognitive psychology, or methodological problems; projects that 
emphasize the development of tests and measures; or projects that 
provide direct assistance to students. 

A proposal may be submitted by any nonprofit organization 
committed to improving humanities education, such as a school or 
school system, several schools or school systems working coopera- 
tively, an individual college or university, a museum, a cultural or- 
ganization, or an educational foundation. Individual study oppor- 
tunities are described on page 13. The program especially 
welcomes applications from historically black colleges and univer- 

While the types of projects below — institutes, special projects, 
collaborative projects, masterwork study grants, conferences, plan- 
ning grants, and independent study awards — have proved suc- 
cessful in achieving the goals of the program, the Endowment will 
also consider other formats. 

National and Regional Projects 
A. Institutes for Teachers and Administrators 

The Endowment sponsors summer institutes that involve intensive 
residential study, promote collegial exchange, and foster the intel- 
lectual renewal that leads to revitalized teaching. 

Institutes should focus on important texts and ideas in the hu- 
manities and on the most effective ways to teach them. An insti- 
tute should offer a rigorous intellectual program that includes 
reading, discussing, and writing about major primary and second- 
ary works under the guidance of scholars. Outstanding teachers 
and scholars should be involved in its planning and implementa- 

tion. An institute's schedule — usually four weeks — should pro- 
vide ample time for thoroughly treating the subject through lec- 
tures, discussions, and other academic activities. Its plan should 
include follow-up activities that will ensure that the summer's 
work is applied to the school setting. Usually, colleges and univer- 
sities conduct institutes, but school systems, museums, and cultural 
institutions also may apply. The average NEH grant for a summer 
institute is $165,000. 


Believing that a solid background in the humanities is critical 
for effective educational leadership, a national association of 
school administrators offers a two-year program of four-week 
summer institutes and periodic follow-up conferences for twenty 
elementary and secondary school principals. In the institute, the 
participants study the idea of republican government as it devel- 
oped in Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics, Machiavelli's The 
Prince, and various numbers of The Federalist. During summer 
sessions and follow-up meetings, the participants also focus on 
the role of the principal as academic leader and consider ways 
to strengthen humanities teaching in their schools. 


Over a four-week period, a high school and college jointly host 
a Russian language institute for thirty high school language 
teachers from across the country. During the institute, the par- 
ticipants study Russian culture from the time of Peter the Great 
to the present with an emphasis on literature, art, and music. 
Almost all the sessions are conducted in Russian, with discussion 
groups organized by the varying levels of participants' profi- 
ciency. The major authors studied include Lermontov, Pushkin, 
Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Pasternak. In addition, the participants 
write weekly papers, view films, and visit museums in order to 
study Russian culture. Following the institute, they develop cur- 
riculum materials and discuss ways to improve the teaching of 
Russian language, culture, and history. 

B. Special Projects 

The Endowment wants to support imaginative projects that prom- 
ise to improve the way the humanities are taught and learned in 
the nation's schools. Funding is not limited, therefore, to applica- 
tions falling within the specific categories listed in these guide- 
lines. In addition to meeting the program's other criteria, special 
projects should have a broad scope and show promise of becom- 
ing significant national models for humanities study or for faculty 

Conference grants are available for institutions and associations to 
address important national issues in humanities education. Con- 
ferences may involve a single meeting or a series of meetings. 
They may be sponsored by colleges, school systems, professional 
associations, or other kinds of educational or cultural institutions. 
Participants may be teachers, professors, school administrators, or 
other educational leaders. 

A proposal for a conference should address a clearly defined 
topic of national significance in the humanities and reflect the 
highest standards of scholarship. Participants should have oppor- 
tunities for reading and discussion. The proposal should demon- 
strate how the conference will have an educational impact, and it 
should include a plan for disseminating the results. 


With support from the Endowment, several national historical 
organizations host a three-day conference on teaching Western 
civilization in secondary schools. The conference includes schol- 
ars, state education department officials, curriculum specialists, 
and social studies teachers at the secondary school level. The 
participants focus on three major topics in the teaching of West- 
ern civilization: planning a comprehensive and coherent course 
of study; using primary sources as classroom teaching materials; 
and providing opportunities for social studies teachers to extend 
their knowledge and understanding of Western civilization. 

The Program for Elementary and Secondary Education in the 
Humanities also offers planning grants for projects that are broad 
and complex. The Endowment sometimes provides funds to sup- 
port meetings, consultant services, and other planning activities. A 
proposal for a planning grant should address specific issues in hu- 

inanities education and should reflect the highest standards of 
scholarship. Because the Endowment will not provide funds to de- 
sign grant proposals, planning grants must have intrinsic value in- 
dependent of any subsequent developments, including requests 
for Endowment support. Planning grants have averaged approxi- 
mately $25,000 in Endowment funds. The award of a planning 
grant does not imply commitment on the part of the Endowment 
to provide subsequent support for project implementation. 

Projects in School Systems and 
Individual Schools 

A. Collaborative Projects 

Collaborative projects promote ongoing partnerships between 
schools and other nearby institutions, usually institutions of higher 
learning, but sometimes libraries, museums, repertory theatres, 
opera companies, or symphony orchestras. They bring scholars to- 
gether with teachers, often for two or three years, to study texts, 
topics, and issues central to humanities disciplines, to revise or co- 
ordinate curricula, and to address problems in humanities educa- 
tion common to the schools in a given area. 

Collaborative projects usually involve summer institutes and 
may also include seminars, colloquia, conferences, meetings, or 
working groups addressing issues in humanities education. They 
should establish relationships that will continue after the grant 
ends. Teachers, school administrators, curriculum specialists, and 
other educational leaders are encouraged to participate in plan- 
ning and implementing the projects. The amount of NEH sup- 
port for a collaborative project has averaged about $180,000. Sup- 
plementary awards are sometimes issued to support the 
dissemination of information concerning successful collaborative 


Understanding that few teachers have an adequate academic 
background to respond to the increased demand for precolle- 
giate instruction in non- Western civilizations, a large state uni- 
versity proposes a summer institute on Asian civilization for 
thirty-six teachers in the state. During the four-week institute, 


all participants study Indian and Chinese culture, reading such 
works as the Analects of Confucius, the Bhagavad Gita, Fingar- 
ette's The Secular as Sacred, Farmer's Comparative History of 
Civilizations in Asia, and Waley's Three Ways of Thought in Ancient 
China. In addition, each participant elects a seminar on either 
Asian art and aesthetic theory or on a comparison of the influ- 
ence of Gandhi and Mao. Following the summer study, the fac- 
ulty work closely with school districts through workshops and 
in-service sessions to integrate primary and secondary Asian ma- 
terials into the classroom. 


A state university and local school district with a long history of 
collaboration plan a series of three summer institutes for ele- 
mentary and secondary school English teachers that examine 
the thematic and historical connections among several texts. Fo- 
cusing first on romance and comedy, participants read Jane 
Eyre, The Secret Garden, and Great Expectations. Turning the fol- 
lowing summer to comedy, irony, and satire, participants read 
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, and 
Gulliver's Travels. In the third summer, studying tragedy, they 
read King Lear and Absalom, Absalom. In addition, they examine 
a variety of myths, short stories, and children's books that ex- 
pand their understanding of various modes of literature. Partici- 
pants also revise the literature curriculum in their schools to re- 
flect the materials studied. 

B. Masterwork Study Grants 

In order to deepen their understanding of the humanities, teach- 
ers and administrators from a school or several nearby schools 
may find it beneficial to study with a local scholar or scholars dur- 
ing the school year. In a typical masterwork study project, small 
numbers of teachers and administrators meet regularly with col- 
lege and university faculty in seminars that examine significant 
humanities materials and explore ways to integrate what partici- 
pants have learned into their teaching. NEH funding for master- 
work study grants has averaged approximately $22,000, and activ- 
ities are usually completed in one calendar year. 



Having discovered that their students responded very positively 
to units on classical mythology and literature, ten teachers of 
grades three through six meet weekly during the school year to 
study the Odyssey. Under the guidance of a 'classics scholar from 
a nearby university, participants read the Odyssey and discuss im- 
portant secondary works on the age of Homer. During the year 
they also discuss ways to use this material effectively in class. 


Fifteen humanities teachers in an urban elementary school want 
to improve their understanding of twentieth-century American 
literature and culture in order to teach social studies more thor- 
oughly. The teachers invite local college faculty members in the 
fields of American literature, history, and art to conduct fifteen 
sessions during the academic year. The sessions focus on the 
Harlem Renaissance and emphasize the works of James Weldon 
Johnson, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston. After the 
project ends, the teachers incorporate what they have studied 
into their classes. 

Individual Study in the Humanities 

A. NEH Teacher-Scholar Program 

As part of its effort to improve humanities education in the na- 
tion's schools, the Endowment offers a sabbatical leave program 
for elementary and secondary school teachers. Under the 
Teacher-Scholar Program, up to twenty-five teachers from across 
the nation will receive support for an academic year of full-time 
independent or directed study in history, literature, foreign lan- 
guages, and other humanities disciplines. The stipend, which is in- 
tended to replace the applicant's academic-year salary, may be as 
high as $30,000 and may be supplemented by other grants or sab- 
batical support to equal the recipient's salary. There is also a $500 
honorarium for a mentor, should the recipient elect to work with 
an expert in the chosen field of study. Guidelines and application 
forms for the Teacher-Scholar Program are published separately 
and are available on request. 


B. Summer Fellowships Program 

The E ndowment has awarded a grant to the Council for Basic 
Education to support a program of summer fellowships for inde- 
pendent study for elementary and secondary school teachers, li- 
brarians, and administrators. Information about this program may 
be obtained by calling or writing the Council for Basic Education, 
c/o Independent Study in the Humanities, P.O. Box 135, Ashton, 
MD 20861, 202/347-4171. 


Higher Education in the 

Through the Program for Higher Education in the Humanities, 
the division supports the academic community in its efforts to 
promote excellent humanities teaching and to offer rigorous and 
coherent curricula for all students. The program supports a wide 
variety of faculty study and curriculum revision projects on a na- 
tional, regional, or institutional level. The following objectives are 
the Endowment's means of achieving the larger goal of improving 
the teaching of the humanities in higher education: 

1. To encourage and assist two- and four-year colleges and 
universities in their efforts to assure every student a coherent and 
rigorous introduction to the humanities through core require- 
ments for general education. 

2. To encourage the rethinking of majors and concentrations 
so that they become internally coherent and build effectively on 
these core requirements. 

3. To encourage undergraduate faculty by supporting and re- 
warding their efforts to offer students a broad-based, synthetic 
approach to the humanities and by promoting intellectual commu- 
nity among faculty through opportunities for collegial study. 

4. To encourage effective study of foreign languages and cul- 
tures so that, together with linguistic proficiency, students attain 
knowledge of history, literature, religion, politics, and other as- 
pects of culture. 


5. To encourage more effective preparation of graduate stu- 
dents and junior faculty for teaching outside their specialties in 
introductory humanities courses. 

6. To encourage the development of humanities-based pro- 
grams for the preparation of elementary and secondary school 

Formats that have worked well in the past are described in the 
pages that follow. However, applicants are invited to propose 
other means of achieving the program's objectives and goals. 

National and Regional Projects 

A. Institutes for College and University 

Each year the Endowment supports national and regional insti- 
tutes in which college and university faculty study important hu- 
manities texts or topics under the guidance of leading scholars. 
Institutes should be clearly focused on materials related to a 
theme, issue, genre, major figure, period, or cultural movement, 
and they must be broadly applicable to subjects frequently taught 
at the undergraduate level. The Endowment particularly encour- 
ages proposals that will assist participants in offering strong core 
humanities courses in their home institutions. 

Any college, university, or cultural organization with appropri- 
ate resources and facilities may propose an institute. Endowment 
funds may be used to support salaries for a director and other 
distinguished scholars who serve as faculty for the institute, room 
and board, travel, and stipends for twenty-five to thirty partici- 
pants. Faculty may be drawn from other institutions and, if neces- 
sary, from abroad. Institutes are usually offered during the sum- 
mer for four to six weeks, depending on the scope of the topic, 
but an applicant may propose another format, such as a series of 
intensive weekend sessions during the academic year. The average 
NEH grant for an institute is approximately $160,000. 



A university offers a five-week institute in which undergraduate 
faculty members study primary sources bearing on the cultural 
background of Christopher Columbus. In order to comprehend 
the intellectual currents that shaped Columbus's world view and 
his abi lity to understand the new lands he discovered, partici- 
pants examine the religious, scientific, and historical works read 
by the explorer. Columbus's copious writings, including diaries, 
letters, and marginal notes — some of which have been compiled 
and translated only recently — are studied as well. The primary 
sources are supplemented by biographical, nautical, and carto- 
graphic studies. 


Noting that faculty members at many colleges and universities 
are often too narrowly educated to teach world literature and 
civilization, a university offers a six-week summer institute that 
focuses on works from a variety of cultures from the ancient 
through the medieval periods and uses their treatment of time, 
tradition, and memory as a theme. Among the works studied 
are the Enuma Elish (a Babylonian creation myth), Genesis, the 
Popul Vuh (a Mesoameiican creation myth), Hesiod's Works and 
Days, Herodotus's Histories, Murasaki's Tale of Genji, Kalidasa's 
Recognition of Shakuntala, and Jean Due du Berry's Book of 
Hours. The texts will be studied in historical context. For exam- 
ple, in the last week of the institute, participants will consider 
how the theme of redemption through human labor as repre- 
sented in the Book of Hours coexisted with medieval visions of 

B. Special Projects 

Each year the program supports a few special projects that are in- 
tended to address national or regional needs in higher education 
in the humanities. These projects should be the product of collab- 
oration by eminent scholars in a field, and they should address is- 
sues or topics of major significance for undergraduate teaching. 
Such projects are typically proposed by consortia or groups of in- 
stitutions or by associations representing specific humanities disci- 


plines or types of institutions. The Endowment particularly 
welcomes projects focused on 1) developing core programs, 
2) strengthening foreign language teaching, 3) preparing future 
elementary and secondary teachers to teach the humanities, 
4) rethinking majors and introductory courses in the humanities 
disciplines, 5) preparing advanced graduate students or new 
Ph.D.s for broad undergraduate teaching responsibilities, and 
6) strengthening the humanities in two-year colleges. 

The costs of these projects vary, depending on the scope and 
the number of individuals or institutions involved. Applicants may 
request support for planning or implementing projects and for 
disseminating results of successful activities. A variety of for- 
mats — including workshops, conferences, and mentoring pro- 
grams — can be proposed. In rare instances the Endowment will 
support the development of materials if a strong need is identi- 
fied in a particular field and if a realistic plan for disseminating 
the materials to the field is included. Applicants considering the 
submission of a special project for materials development should 
consult the section on "Eligibility," page 27. 


Outstanding scholars in the field of religious studies respond to 
the need for rethinking the introductory courses in their disci- 
pline by forming a working group that carries out the following: 
1) a conference with the goal of planning a resource book of 
syllabi and other materials that aid faculty in the teaching of 
such courses, and 2) three related institutes aimed at faculty 
trained in a single religious tradition who are now being called 
on to teach from a comparative perspective. The resource book 
is refined through use in the institutes and prepared for na- 
tional dissemination. 


A private research university known for its core sequence in 
Western civilization offers three NEH instructorships each year 
for three years. These instructors, who have recently received 
their doctorates from other institutions, are selected on the basis 
of their potential as outstanding undergradu ate teachers. The 
instructors teach one section of the Western civilization program 
each semester, audit a section taught by a master teacher, and 


complete a directed reading project intended to prepare them 
for broad teaching responsibilities. They also participate in 
weekly staff meetings in which they discuss ways to present the 
texts and topics scheduled for the following week's classes. The 
university seeks private funding to make the program perma- 
nent after Endowment funding ends. 

Projects in Individual Institutions 

The Endowment will assist higher education institutions directly 
or through consortia to formulate rigorous and coherent core cur- 
ricula and major programs in the humanities. Universities, four- 
year colleges, two-year colleges, and professional and technical 
schools are all encouraged to apply. The program particularly 
welcomes proposals from historically black colleges and univer- 
sities. Funding is available for planning with major scholars, for 
course development, for faculty workshops, or for other related 

An institution in an early stage of improving its curriculum may 
request support for planning. Faculty should have articulated an 
intellectual rationale and made a commitment to improving hu- 
manities instruction prior to requesting assistance for program 
planning. Planning grants are limited to one year and do not nor- 
mally exceed $25,000. They typically provide funds for stipends 
or released time for a faculty planning team, travel and honoraria 
for a visiting scholar or scholars, and, if necessary, travel to model 

An institution well along in the development of its curriculum 
may apply for implementation funds to support course development 
and evaluation as well as joint faculty study of texts and issues to 
be included in the courses. Funds are available for faculty re- 
leased time during the academic year, for summer stipends to fac- 
ulty members, and for travel and honoraria for visiting scholars. 
Projects may last from one to three years. Average funding from 
the Endowment is $78,000 per year, but the size of curriculum 
implementation grants varies depending on such factors as the 
scope of the project and the number of faculty members involved. 
The Endowment ordinarily provides no more than $250,000 to- 
ward the total cost of complex, multiyear projects. Institutions are 
expected to contribute at least thirty percent of project costs and 


to seek third-party gifts whenever feasible. An institution is also 
expected to describe realistic plans for maintaining the project 
after the grant period expires. 

A group of faculty within an institution may propose a faculty 
study project that is not immediately related to curriculum revi- 
sion. In some cases the humanities curriculum may be quite 
strong, and the rationale for funding is based on the need for fac- 
ulty to become better prepared or to work together to achieve a 
more coherent approach to the materials they teach. Institutions 
proposing faculty study projects to support an existing humanities 
curriculum should indicate how they will integrate new faculty 
into the curriculum over time. Such faculty study projects will be 
judged on both the quality of the existing curriculum and the 
quality of the proposed faculty study plan. 

In other cases faculty study may be proposed by faculty mem- 
bers who perceive program weaknesses but have not reached con- 
sensus on a new curricular direction. A carefully constructed 
study of texts and topics in the humanities, carried out with visit- 
ing scholars, may serve as a first step toward the improvement of 
the humanities curriculum. In such cases the proposal will be eval- 
uated primarily on the strength of the study plan and the likeli- 
hood that the study project will lead to a more coherent approach 
to teaching the humanities. 

An average NEH grant for faculty study is $50,000 per year. 
The Endowment typically provides funds for faculty stipends for 
summer study or released time for study during the academic 
year and supports the costs of visiting scholars. 

The Program for Higher Education in the Humanities encour- 
ages projects with the emphases listed below, although other kinds 
of projects that lead to the improvement of humanities teaching 
are welcome and will receive equal consideration. Curriculum 
planning projects, curriculum implementation projects, or faculty 
study projects may be requested under any of the emphases out- 
lined on the following pages. 


A. Core Curricula 

Many institutions are currently involved in redesigning general 
education or core requirements to ensure that students encounter 
humanities works that constitute the Western intellectual heritage. 
The Endowment supports such efforts and also encourages pro- 
posals that engage students in the study of other cultures and tra- 
ditions. The Endowment particularly encourages proposals for 
projects that will lead to core requirements that are both thought- 
ful and strong in humanities content. 


A private liberal arts college plans a series of text-based core hu- 
manities courses that all students would take during every se- 
mester of their undergraduate study. The first four courses, for 
which syllabi have been developed, approach in approximate 
chronological order significant texts and issues in Western civili- 
zation. The upper-level courses would be organized thematically 
to reveal the historical context and the interplay of intellectual 
issues and social forces that have informed Western civilization. 
The Endowment supports a three-year program of curriculum 
development, accompanied each year by faculty workshops that 
are led by visiting humanities scholars. In the first summer the 
faculty will prepare to teach the initial courses by studying such 
texts as Plato's Republic, Homer's Iliad, Sophocles' Antigone, Aris- 
totle's Nicomachaean Ethics, Augustine's Confessions, Chaucer's The 
Canterbury Tales, Erasmus's In Praise of Folly, Marx and Engels's 
Communist Manifesto, and Freud's Civilization and Its Discontents. 
In the second and third years the faculty will prepare to teach 
the upper-level courses by studying appropriate texts and topics 
under the guidance of visiting scholars. 


Faculty at a branch state university have instituted a year-long 
course in world literature as part of a new set of core require- 
ments. The new course develops broad and basic human 
themes, such as the relation of the individual to society, conflict 
and duty, and myth and history. The faculty, having decided 
that epic literature provides an important focus for examining 
these themes, proposes a six-week summer faculty workshop for 


those teaching the course. The faculty members will read Gilga- 
mesh, the Iliad, the Mahabharata, Beowulf, The Song of Roland, the 
Cid, the Elder Edda, Sundiata, The Tale of the Heike, and second- 
ary materials that place these epics in their cultural contexts. 
Visiting scholars will examine the works from several perspec- 
tives with a view to distinguishing the temporal from the univer- 
sal. In small groups the faculty members will discuss teaching 

B. Coherent Majors and Concentrations 

Many institutions are seeking to develop four-year programs that 
provide an ordered progression of learning and enable students 
to achieve a greater synthesis of knowledge. The Endowment en- 
courages institutions to develop integrated humanities majors that 
build on a core curriculum, offer intellectual coherence, and pro- 
vide a solid foundation for students whether or not they intend to 
pursue graduate study. 

In addition, the program seeks to assist institutions in develop- 
ing coherent humanities concentrations or sequences of courses 
for students who are majoring in the sciences or the professions. 
Such projects should be firmly based in the texts and disciplines 
of the humanities. Courses that examine the historical and philo- 
sophical connections between the humanities and the sciences or 
social sciences are eligible for support. 


A large public university seeks to invigorate its classics major 
and to integrate it more fully into the curriculum. In addition to 
having to fulfill the traditional requirements in Greek and Latin 
language and literature, the student majoring in classics is en- 
couraged to elect one of the following tracks: classics and reli- 
gion, in which the Greek and Roman religious traditions are 
compared with other traditions; classics and philosophy, in 
which the impact of the Greek philosophers on later thinkers is 
examined; or classics and American studies, in which the stu- 
dent traces the impact of the Greco-Roman self-perception and 
world view on American society and government. The Endow- 
ment provides a planning grant under which a team of resident 
faculty redesigns the courses with the help of visiting scholars. 


C. Foreign Language and Civilization 

The program welcomes projects that promise to improve the 
teaching of foreign languages and to integrate cultural study into 
language acquisition from the earliest stages of learning. The pro- 
gram also supports projects that seek to introduce new foreign 
languages to an institution's offerings. 

In addition, the division has begun to offer a Special Opportu- 
nity in Foreign Language Education (see page 24 for further in- 
formation and project examples). 

D. Teacher Preparation 

The program seeks to support projects that will lead to a stronger 
humanities foundation for future teachers. The Endowment also 
encourages institutions to develop projects that will attract strong 
humanities students to teaching and assist them in acquiring 
professional skills as they take humanities courses. 


A state college is committed to providing a stronger humanities 
foundation for future elementary and secondary school teach- 
ers. A group of faculty representing the humanities and the in- 
stitution's School of Education join in a four-week summer 
study project on the topic of education and epistemology. Aided 
by visiting scholars, participants will study Plato's Meno, Des- 
cartes's Rules for the Direction of the Mind, Locke's Essay Concerning 
Human Understanding, Rousseau's Emile, Kant's On Education, and 
Dewey's The Quest for Certainty. They explore the relation of ep- 
istemological concepts, such as reason, experience, evidence, ar- 
gument, and knowledge, to different theories of human nature. 
During the following academic year, pairs of faculty from the 
humanities and from the School of Education team-teach sec- 
tions of a new foundations of education course that is based on 
these texts. 


E. Projects With Cultural Institutions 

The Endowment encourages cultural institutions such as museums 
to cooperate with local colleges and universities in order to 
strengthen degree programs. 


A museum with an outstanding collection of American art and 
material culture, including paintings of the Hudson River 
School and a small but excellent selection of eighteenth- and 
nineteenth-century American furniture, cooperates with a 
nearby liberal arts college that is seeking to strengthen its offer- 
ings in American studies and American art. The Endowment 
provides funds for members of the curatorial staff and faculty 
from several departments to work together to determine the ex- 
isting courses that could benefit from using the museum's re- 
sources, to plan an internship program for advanced art history 
students, and to design a new course on American romanticism 
that would be team-taught by a curator and two faculty mem- 
bers, one in American literature and the other in American art. 
The new course will be offered in a weekend college format as 
well as in the traditional curriculum. The college and the mu- 
seum are committed to supporting the new course on an ongo- 
ing basis and to developing further collaborative courses based 
on this model. 

F. Two- Year Institutions 

In addition to the kinds of faculty and curriculum development 
support available to all colleges and universities, the Endowment 
considers special requests from two-year colleges. Such requests 
may include a significant commitment of funds for library acquisi- 
tions or partial support for phasing in new humanities faculty po- 


A rapidly growing community college adopts an interdiscipli- 
nary humanities course, required of all degree students, that is 
designed to engage students with concepts of human dignity 


that have informed Western civilization from classical antiquity 
to the present. Faculty study in support of the course is pro- 
posed in the form of two workshops that will be conducted in 
consecutive summers. The first workshop, covering the period 
from classical Greece to the Renaissance, is devoted to such lit- 
erary and artistic works as The Oresteia, Antigone, the Parthenon, 
the Inferno, The Prince, and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. 
The second traces the theme from the Renaissance to the pre- 
sent, focusing on such works as Montaigne's Essays, David's Na- 
poleon, Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, Frankenstein, The Brothers 
Karamazov, A Doll House, and A Room of One's Own. With Endow- 
ment funding, faculty from history, literature, philosophy, mu- 
sic, graphics, and engineering technology will study with visiting 
scholars during the summer and attend follow-up sessions dur- 
ing the subsequent academic year. The college acquires humani- 
ties materials for the library and establishes a new faculty posi- 
tion in art history which the college will sustain after the grant 


Special Opportunity in Foreign 
Language Education 

As part of its effort to strengthen the teaching of foreign lan- 
guages in the nation's schools, colleges and universities, the divi- 
sion offers a special opportunity for applications in all foreign lan- 
guages, and particularly in such less commonly taught languages 
as Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic. It invites proposals for 
summer institutes for school teachers; for college and university 
curriculum development and faculty study aimed at strengthening 
undergraduate language programs, including those for prospec- 
tive school teachers; and for various special projects. 

The summer institutes should give special attention to incorporat- 
ing authentic materials from the target culture into curriculum at 
all levels of language instruction, including introductory courses. 
They should be designed to help school teachers foster student 
proficiency in the target language. Insofar as possible, they should 
be conducted on the basis of immersion in that language. The in- 


stitutes also should undertake to promote understanding and ap- 
preciation of significant and distinctive achievements of the target 
culture. Applicants are encouraged to include plans for follow-up 
activities, which may include organized study in a country using 
the target language, and they are encouraged to seek matching 
funds to support these follow-up activities. 


A private college offers two six-week institutes on Japanese lan- 
guage and culture in consecutive summers. The first summer, 
thirty high school teachers study Japanese language and aesthet- 
ics and read portions of Japanese historical documents, litera- 
ture, newspapers, and magazines. The second summer, at a uni- 
versity in Japan, they study history from the Tokugawa period 
to the present and read selected works in both English and Jap- 
anese. In both summers, they discuss how to incorporate Japa- 
nese reading mater ials into beginning courses. 

Efforts to strengthen undergraduate language programs may focus 
on incorporating texts from the target culture into language 
coures including those at the introductory and intermediate levels 
so as to develop students' proficiency and prepare them for more 
advanced and substantive study; on broadening the range of 
courses that use and develop knowledge of a foreign language to 
include courses in history, religious studies, politics, economics, 
and other disciplines in addition to courses in language and litera- 
ture; or on encouraging mentor-apprentice relationships to assist 
prospective or beginning school teachers. 


At an urban university the foreign language faculty, concerned 
about the difficulties students have with assigned readings in 
upper-level courses, revise the curricula of lower-level course se- 
quences to improve language instruction. The faculty develop 
an approach in which proficiency-based language instruction 
and the study of literary and other works are combined at every 
level. Funds from NEH support work to define realistic require- 
ments for achievement in the first four semesters, to select ap- 
propriate materials for use in those semesters, to train teachers 
to use proficiency-oriented classroom teaching methods and to 
design an in-house training program and method of evaluation. 


Special projects might include — but are not limited to — plan- 
ning for language magnet schools, establishing collaborative ar- 
rangements among educational institutions to provide for stu- 
dents' continuous and cumulative study of a language, and 
designing courses and curricula to improve the preparation of 
graduate students to teach introductory courses in a given lan- 


To ensure that the sequence among levels of language study is 
both logical and substantive, thirty foreign language teachers 
from middle and high schools collaborate on a curriculum plan 
with faculty members from a local university. During a series of 
three-day weekend workshops, the teachers identify readings 
and other activities by which students will prepare to demon- 
strate their level of proficiency upon entrance to the university. 
In this way, five local school districts standardize language se- 
quencing from grades six through twelve. The local university 
can adjust its language placement testing to assure that students 
from these districts are placed into the appropriate level of ad- 
vanced courses in their language. 

Applications submitted in response to the Special Opportunity 
in Foreign Language Education will be subject to the division's 
regular review process and evaluation criteria. Applications for 
the Special Opportunity should mention the following matters 
when they are pertinent to the proposed project: 

• focus on a language that is widely used in parts of the 
world but not commonly taught in United States schools and 

• identification or preparation of resources needed to 
incorporate authentic materials from the target culture into 
beginning courses in the language; 

• arrangements needed to provide that study of a language is 
continuous and cumulative and that it is not interrupted by 
transition from one institution to another; and 

• a location which will make a needed resource available to 
teachers or students who would not otherwise have conven- 
ient access to it. 


Policies and Procedures 


Definition of the Humanities 

In the act that established the National Endowment for the Hu- 
manities, the term humanities includes, but is not limited to, the 
study of the following disciplines: history; philosophy; languages; 
linguistics; literature; archaeology; jurisprudence; the history, the- 
ory, and criticism of the arts; ethics; comparative religion; and 
those aspects of the social sciences that employ historical or philo- 
sophical approaches. 

Work in the creative or performing arts — such as the writing of 
fiction or poetry, painting, sculpture, musical composition or per- 
formance, acting, directing, and dance — is not eligible for support 
by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Persons inter- 
ested in support in these areas should write or call the National 
Endowment for the Arts. Critical, historical, and theoretical stud- 
ies of the arts, however, are eligible for NEH support. 



Any U.S. -incorporated nonprofit organization or institution with a 
commitment to the improvement of humanities education may ap- 
ply to the Division of Education Programs. The division accepts 
applications from schools, school systems, two- and four-year col- 
leges, universities, college and university systems, libraries, mu- 
seums, educational associations, professional organizations, re- 
search centers, units of state and local governments, and 
educational and cultural consortia. When two or more institutions 
or organizations collaborate on an application, one of them ordi- 
narily serves as the lead applicant and administers the project on 
behalf of all the participating units. Project activities may vary, 
and the grant period may last for one to three years. Normally, 
the Endowment's contribution to projects funded by the Division 
of Education Programs will not exceed 85 percent of total project 
costs (for higher education institutional projects, 70 percent). 

The Endowment does not support the preparation of textbooks 
or other materials for a commercial market. Projects may use a 
new technology such as computer-aided instruction if it is the best 
means of achieving the desired end, and if it is not intended to 
replace individual instruction by faculty members. Proposals fo- 
cusing primarily on the development of educational technology or 


pedagogical methods ordinarily are not eligible for consideration. 
The Endowment normally does not fund projects that are in- 
tended to improve writing, speaking, or thinking skills apart from 
a focus on humanities content. Finally, the Endowment does not 
ordinarily support equipment costs. 


Application Procedure 

After reading these guidelines, the applicant should send a brief 
description of the proposed project to a division program officer 
for an assessment of eligibility. In some cases, this step can be ac- 
complished through a telephone call. The program officer will 
send the division's "Application Forms and Instructions" bro- 
chure. Approximately two months before the formal application 
deadline, the applicant should submit a draft of the full proposal 
for further review by a program officer. Although such consulta- 
tion is not required, many applicants report that they have prof- 
ited from preliminary staff advice. The applicant should then sub- 
mit the revised proposal on the official application forms by the 
pertinent application receipt deadline. Once a proposal has been 
formally submitted, staff members are not permitted to discuss its 

Applications will be acknowledged by post card within three 
weeks. Applicants who have filed by the receipt deadline and who 
do not receive such an acknowledgment should call or write the 
Endowment as soon as possible. Applicants will receive formal no- 
tification once a final decision on the proposal has been reached. 


Review Process 

The review of proposals requires five to eight months. 

Applications to the Division of Education Programs are re- 
viewed by peer review panels. Each panel is composed of humani- 
ties scholars and professionals who are broadly representative of 
the program's applicants and knowledgeable about the pertinent 


level of instruction. Occasionally, outside reviews are solicited 
from experts who have extensive knowledge related either to the 
intellectual content or to the educational ancl institutional context 
of an application. The proposals are reviewed in turn by the Na- 
tional Council on the Humanities. The National Council has 
twenty-six members appointed by the President of the United 
States with the consent of the Senate to advise the Chairman of 
the Endowment on policy and program matters. The Chairman of 
the Endowment, after considering the recommendations made in 
the course of the review, makes the final decision on the applica- 

Reapplication is always possible, and failure to gain support in 
one competition does not prejudice an applicant's chances in fu- 
ture competitions. Applicants may, by submitting a written re- 
quest, obtain detailed information about the evaluation of the pro- 
posal. The Endowment respects the confidentiality of applicants 
and of the authors of specific reviews. 


Evaluation Criteria 

Endowment reviewers evaluate proposals by answering the follow- 
ing general questions: 

1. Is the project rooted in texts and topics of central impor- 
tance to the humanities, and is it likely to result in better humani- 
ties instruction? 

2. Is the intellectual rationale for the proposed project clear 
and persuasive? 

3. Does the proposal include academically rigorous syllabi or 
reading lists? 

4. Is the schedule of activities well planned and feasible? 

5. Are project personnel well qualified to carry out their pro- 
posed duties? 

6. Do letters from visiting scholars, consultants, or prospective 
participants demonstrate sufficient interest and commitment? 

7. Are the plans for project administration sound? Is the 
budget reasonable? 


8. Is the level of institutional cost sharing adequate? 

9. Where appropriate, does the institution possess the re- 
sources and commitment to maintain the program once it is in 

10. Are plans for project evaluation reasonable? 

11. Where appropriate, are follow-up activities likely to im- 
prove teaching and learning in the humanities? 


Special Initiative 

A special initiative is an undertaking by the Endowment to en- 
courage proposals in all grant-making categories for projects relat- 
ing to a specific subject or event. Proposals submitted in response 
to a special initiative are subjected to the same criteria and review 
process as other proposals in a given category. Proposals are cur- 
rently solicited for the following initiative: 

The Columbian Quincentenary 

As part of the international observance of the 500th anniversary 
of Christopher Columbus's voyage to the New World, NEH in- 
vites proposals for original scholarship on related topics and for 
the dissemination of both new and existing scholarship. Topics 
may include the expansion of European civilization through the 
efforts of the Spanish and Portuguese crowns and the establish- 
ment of new societies and new forms of cultural expression 
through encounters among native American, European, and Afri- 
can peoples. Proposals may also explore the ideas — political, reli- 
gious, philosophical, scientific, technological, and aesthetic — that 
shaped the processes of exploration, settlement, and cultural con- 
flict and transformation set in motion by Columbus's momentous 

In the Division of Education Programs, an application respond- 
ing to this initiative and focusing on humanities education may be 
submitted under the regular guidelines for either the Program for 
Elementary and Secondary Education in the Humanities or the 
Program for Higher Education in the Humanities. 



Application Deadlines 



For Projects 

Elementary and 
Education in the 

NEH Teacher- 
Scholar Program 

December 15 
March 15** 

May 1 


October* 5 " 

September of the 
next calendar year 

Higher Education 
in the Humanities 

October 1 
April 1 


Special Opportunity 
in Foreign Language 

March 15 


*A11 deadlines are receipt deadlines. 
**National and regional institutes only. 




Staff members, all of whom are experienced teachers and schol- 
ars, are listed here according to the grant programs with which 
they are principally affiliated. Every member of the staff is famil- 
iar with all of the division's programs, however, and potential ap- 
plicants may call or write any staff member and be assured that 
their inquiries will be routed promptly to the most appropriate 

Division of Education Programs 202/786-0373 

Director James Herbert 

Deputy to the Director Kenneth Kolson 

Elementary and Secondary Education 

in the Humanities 202/786-0377 

Assistant Director 
F. Bruce Robinson 

Program Officers 
Ralph C. Canevali 
Janet Ray Edwards 
Angela lovino 
Michael L. Lanza 
Joseph Troncale 

NEH Teacher-Scholar Program Coordinator 
Angela lovino 


Higher Education 

in the Humanities 202/786-0380 

Assistant Director 
Lyn Maxwell White 

Program Officers 
Thomas M. Adams 
Barbara A. Ashbrook 
Frank Frankfort 
Judith Jeffrey Howard 
Elizabeth Welles 

Special Opportunity in Foreign 

Language Education 202/786-0373 

F. Bruce Robinson 
Elizabeth Welles 

Office of Outreach 202/786-0384 

Carl Dolan 

The Office of Outreach has been established to make the best hu- 
manities education and programming available to the broadest 
possible audience. The coordinator works with groups that have 
not previously submitted applications to NEH in significant num- 
bers and conducts workshops in geographic areas that have not 
taken full advantage of the wide variety of NEH funding oppor- 


Equal Opportunity 

The National Endowment for the Humanities is responsible for 
ensuring compliance with and enforcement of laws prohibiting 
discrimination because of race, color, national origin, sex, handi- 
cap, and age in programs and activities receiving federal assist- 
ance. Endowment grant recipients are responsible for complying 
with these laws. For additional information concerning these obli- 
gations, or if you believe that you have been discriminated against 
in any program, activity, or facility receiving federal assistance 
from the Endowment, please write immediately to the Equal Op- 
portunity Employment Officer, National Endowment for the Hu- 
manities, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 


If a proposed project relates to American Indians, Aleuts, Eski- 
mos, or native Hawaiian people and artifacts, the applicant should 
obtain from the Endowment a copy of its Code of Ethics concern- 
ing native Americans. The code establishes certain standards of 
conduct in research, publication, and public programs involving 
native American peoples. 

Division of Education Programs, Room 302 

National Endowment for the Humanities 

1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. 

Washington, D.C. 20506